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Turkish Journal of Veterinary & Animal Sciences

DOI

10.3906/vet-2111-39

Abstract

This study evaluated the interaction effects of different age groups and body weight losses during moulting on the productive performance, egg quality, and immune response of commercial laying hens. In total 324 Lohmann Selected Leghorn Lite laying hens of 80 and 108 weeks old were studied. A completely randomized experimental design in factorial arrangement, with 6 treatments of 6 replicates with 9 hens each, was applied. Treatments consisted of 2 production cycles (80 and 108 weeks) and three body weight losses during moulting (20%, 25%, and 30%). Productive performance (body weight, feed intake, egg weight, production percent, egg mass, feed per kg egg mass, and feed per dozen eggs), egg quality (egg weight, Haugh unit score, yolk index, and shell thickness), and immune response (antibody response against Newcastle disease, infectious bronchitis, avian influenza, and Mycoplasma gallisepticum) were evaluated. The interaction between age and body weight losses during moulting significantly (p ≤ 0.05) influences body weight, feed intake, egg weight, production percent, egg mass feed per dozen eggs and kg egg mass, egg weight, yolk index, and shell thickness. There was no influence of age and body weight losses during moulting on immune response (p > 0.05). It was concluded that the moulting procedure could be used effectively even after 108 weeks in the case of the commercial layer without having any deleterious effect on the performance of the bird.

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